Thursday, May 19, 2011

Rotation Rankings: Week 7

Previous Rankings: Week 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Week seven of our Rotation Rankings: the statistical ranking of every rotation in Major League Baseball. More a fan of offense? Check out our Leadoff Rankings, based on every teams' first and second batters.This week, we're bringing out something new: a normalized formula. For the last few weeks, we've been basically eyeballing the stats, using our knowledge of the teams as well as the numbers to try and place each time in a slot that made the most sense based on season performance, while keeping in mind how the last week went for each team. Now, however, we have a formula--using WHIP, ERA, and some other statistics, we've compared them all to league averages to come up with normalized scores, which we've then set to a ratio according to importance (WHIP being more important than K/9, for example), which gives us a final, weighted, relative score. The season stats get weighted towards 90% of the total, while the last week's statistics account for the last 10% (allowing some fluctuation based on recent performance, which is really what most Power Rankings do without realizing it). To see how much movement there was when we switched to the formula (as well as how your favorite team stacks up), hit the jump!

G: Games; ERA: Earned Run Average; WHIP: (Walks + Hits)/Innings Pitched; GS: Game Score; K/BB: Strikeout-to-walk ratio; K/9: Strikeouts per nine innings; WS: Weighted Score

30. (LW: 26) Kansas City Royals (20-22, 3rd AL Central)--WS:1.250
This Week: 1-4, 6.00 ERA, 1.63 WHIP, 43.3 GS, 0.76 K/BB, 3.90 K/9
Season (239.2 IP): 10-18, 4.92 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 46.3 GS, 1.58 K/BB, 4.92 K/9
Kyle Davies had quite an interesting start on Monday, going just a third of an inning while giving up two runs--without giving up a hit. Davies walked three of four batters he faced before leaving the game, part of sixteen total walks in 25 innings, a major reason for the high WHIP this week, and a fall into last place.

29. (LW: 29) Chicago Cubs (18-23, 5th NL Central)--WS:1.208
This Week: 1-3, 5.68 ERA, 1.67 WHIP, 42.3 K/BB, 1.73 K/BB, 7.39 K/9
Season (228.0 IP): 10-18, 5.49 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, 46.3 GS, 2.21 K/BB, 7.86 K/9
The Cubs' rotation continues to struggle, as they posted a 5.68 ERA and brutal 1.67 WHIP this week. Three different pitchers (Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, and Casey Coleman) gave up five earned runs or more in their starts, while giving up 23 base hits and nine walks.

28. (LW: 30) Minnesota Twins (14-27, 5th AL Central)--WS:1.149
This Week: 1-2, 3.75 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 51.2 GS, 2.90 K/BB, 7.25 K/9
Season (239.2 IP): 11-20, 4.77 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 47.7 GS, 1.79 K/BB, 5.86 K/9
The Twins make a quantum leap out of last place, helped by what was pretty much their first "good" week of the entire season. Francisco Liriano had one of his good starts this week, but so far he's been alternating between solid and atrocious, going seven innings of one-run ball in one start but going just three innings in the start before.

27. (LW: 27) Houston Astros (15-28, 6th NL Central)--WS:1.123
This Week: 1-2, 4.34 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 50.7 GS, 1.67 K/BB, 7.23 K/9
Season (244.2 IP): 7-17, 4.89 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 47.3 GS, 2.29 K/BB, 7.30 K/9
Another week of below-mediocry in Houston, as the Astros get six of seven starts in the 34-57 gamescore range. Wandy Rodriguez had a 76 against Atlanta (8 IP, 0 R), but he didn't get the decision as Brian McCann hit two home runs off the bullpen as the Braves came back for the win.

26. (LW: 28) Toronto Blue Jays (21-21, 4th AL East)--WS:1.121
This Week: 3-1, 3.16 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 53.6 GS, 1.67 K/BB, 7.18 K/9
Season (236.0 IP): 13-16 4.54 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 48.9 GS, 1.94 K/BB, 7.78 K/9
Well that looks a lot better. It must do wonders to cut your ERA in half in just a week. Well, you just have to look at Toronto’s rotation’s records: 3-1 with a no decision. And management must be pleased to see everyone go at least five innings, unlike the past three weeks. The bullpen has to be thanking these guys, especially Romero, after his 8.2 inning gem.

25. (LW: 24) New York Mets (20-22, t-4th NL East)--WS:1.120
This Week: 3-1, 4.54 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, 48.0 GS, 2.08 K/BB, 6.31 K/9
Season (247.0 IP): 13-17, 4.48 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 48.0 GS, 1.77 K/BB, 6.05 K/9
After posting a respectable week last week, Metropolitan starters regressed a tad. Capuano, Pelfrey, and Niese (in his second start of the week) combined for 17 innings of 3-run ball with 14 strikeouts. But it was what the others did that hurt the staff. New York’s first three starters (including Niese’s first) allowed a total of 15 runs in just 16 1/3 innings. Ouch.

24. (LW: 20) San Diego Padres (18-25, 5th NL West)--WS:1.100
This Week: 2-3, 6.83 ERA, 1.81 WHIP, 38.8 GS, 1.67 K/BB, 7.42 K/9
Season (245.1 IP): 8-19, 4.26 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 48.9 GS, 2.06 K/BB, 6.27 K/9
Another clunker of a week, as the Padres rotation posted an ERA of 6.83. Despite an average gamescore of 38.8, the rotation actually managed to go 2-3. Aaron Harang & Co. must be grateful that the Padres offense finally got going for once, but the starters' performance (1.81 WHIP this week) is just dreadful.

23. (LW: 23) Arizona Diamondbacks (19-23, t-3rd NL West)--WS:1.079
This Week: 3-3, 2.91 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 53.1 GS, 1.86 K/BB, 5.40 K/9
Season (252.1 IP): 13-18, 4.57 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 49.0 GS, 1.90 K/BB, 6.56 K/9
Four of the last five D-Backs starters have allowed one earned run or fewer while pitching six innings or more. That lone exception: Armando Galarraga's five-inning, eight-run (five earned) disaster on Monday. The rotation pitched to a 2.91 ERA this week, but that figure drops to 2.11 if Galarraga's outing is excluded.

22. (LW: 21) Pittsburgh Pirates (19-23, 4th NL Central)--WS:1.076
This Week: 1-4, 5.08 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 49.2 GS, 2.50 K/BB, 7.94 K/9
Season (248.0 IP): 14-25, 4.14 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 49.6 GS, 1.64 K/BB, 5.70 K/9
Charlie Morton is an early Comeback Player of the Year Award candidate, with a 2.62 ERA after yesterday's complete-game shutout. His WHIP is down from 1.73 last year to 1.31 in 2011, and he's allowing one-fourth as many home runs per start. If only Kevin Correia (six earned runs allowed in four innings on Sunday) would follow his lead in Pittsburgh.

21. (LW: 16) New York Yankees (22-19, 2nd AL East)--WS:1.056
This Week: 1-5, 5.18 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 45.4 GS, 2.14 K/BB, 6.75 K/9
Season (244.2 IP): 15-13, 4.01 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 50.9 GS, 2.13 K/BB, 6.73 K/9
I'm pretty sure Yankees brass didn't pay Sabathia and Burnett to put up those types of games. New York's pitching has been back-and-forth this season and this was certainly a step back. Only Colon got through seven (8 innings, 0 earned, 7 Ks in his second start) but he wasn't even close last time out in a three-inning loss to the Royals. You can never count out a bullpen that features Mariano Rivera but it's not friendly to relievers when the front five can't get out of the seventh.

20. (LW: 25) Boston Red Sox (22-20, 3rd AL East)--WS:1.047
This Week: 3-0, 3.26 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 57.6 GS, 2.13 K/BB, 9.50 K/9
Season (247.1 IP): 18-14, 4.11 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 51.6 GS, 1.84 K/BB, 7.02 K/9
Ok, Red Sox Nation. This was a lot better, don't you agree? Last week was miserable as only Beckett (how did he come back from the dead) got to the seventh inning and yet still got a no-decision against the Twins. Beckett followed that up with another shut out against those Yankees in six innings. In case you're not counting at home that's 17 1/3 shut out ball for Beckett.

19. (LW: 15) Colorado Rockies (22-19, 2nd NL West)--WS:1.046
This Week: 2-3, 5.70 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 45.6 GS, 1.88 K/BB, 6.75 K/9
Season (245.2 IP): 17-11, 4.10 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 51.8 GS, 1.81 K/BB, 6.89 K/9
After a strong start, the Rockies rotation is moving in the wrong direction. They just finished their second consecutive week with an ERA over 5.00 (5.70 this week, actually), and their 1.88 K/BB ratio is just not sustainable at Coors Field. Staff "ace" Ubaldo Jiminez is still struggling, with a 6.14 ERA and 1.53 WHIP on the season.

18. (LW: 18) Cincinnati Reds (25-18, 1st NL Central)--WS:1.027
This Week: 3-1, 3.72 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 53.3 GS, 2.33 K/BB, 6.52 K/9
Season (243.1 IP): 17-11, 4.48 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 50.4 GS, 2.42 K/BB, 7.69 K/9
The Reds rotation is beginning to really move in the right direction. They improved their season ERA and WHIP this week, and it's the third time in the last four weeks they've had an ERA under 4.00. Now they just need Bronson Arroyo (8 ER in last five starts) to find some consistency.

17. (LW: 13) Chicago White Sox (19-25, 4th AL Central)--WS:1.021
This Week: 3-2, 4.10 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 49.8 GS, 1.93 K/BB, 6.51 K/9
Season (285.1 IP): 14-20, 3.97 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 52.4 GS, 2.40 K/BB, 6.43 K/9
Welcome back, Jake Peavy. A week after showing promise with a six-inning, four-run ND at Los Angeles (AL), he goes the distance in a three-hitter against the Cleveland Indians. Without his start the team's ERA jumps to 4.50 for the week. Mark Buehrle (3-3, 4.07 ERA) has been basically average, which is confusing as he's just 32 years old.

16. (LW: 19) Washington Nationals (20-22, t-4th NL East)--WS:1.018
This Week: 1-2, 3.68 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 50.8 GS, 2.27 K/BB, 8.34 K/9
Season (254.1 IP): 15-17, 3.93 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 50.2 GS, 2.04 K/BB, 5.77 K/9
While it may not have been the prettiest thing, the Nationals have to be pleased with this production after last week’s disaster. Hernandez gave up one run in seven innings of week, but lost to the Marlins. No starter allowed more than four earned. Too bad this only led to a 1-2 record with three no decisions.

15. (LW: 11) Florida Marlins (24-17, 2nd NL East)--WS: 0.995
This Week: 1-1, 4.66 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 48.8 GS, 3.11 K/BB, 8.69 K/9
Season (248.0 IP): 13-8, 3.96 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 52.1 GS, 2.31 K/BB, 7.37 K/9
Each Marlins starter got one game this week, and the results were just a below-average group of games for the Fish. Anibal Sanchez gave them eight scoreless innings at Washington--take out his start, and the rotation ERA jumps to 6.43 with a 1.81 WHIP.

14. (LW: 14) Milwaukee Brewers (21-22, 3rd NL Central)--WS: 0.973
This Week: 5-1, 3.31 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 55.0 GS, 1.88 K/BB, 7.64 K/9
Season (254.1 IP): 17-12, 4.07 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 51.6 GS, 2.72 K/BB, 7.79 K/9
Despite a not-impressive 1.30 WHIP, the Brewers starters limited the opposition to 3.31 ERA this week. Zack Greinke was the only starter to give up more than two earned runs in a start--when he allowed five in five innings against the Pirates. His season ERA of 6.60 has to be troubling from the Brew Crew and their fans.

13. (LW: 22) Baltimore Orioles (19-22, 5th AL East)--WS: 0.964
This Week: 2-1, 1.02 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 68.0 GS, 2.33 K/BB, 5.73 K/9
Season (240.1 IP): 14-16, 3.86 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 52.1 GS, 2.15 K/BB, 5.95 K/9
The Orioles were yet another team that had a beyond-fantastic week, giving up just five earned runs in 44 innings from their starters. Zach Britton threw sixteen innings of one-run ball (it was an unearned run), yet emerges without a win. Brad Bergesen got what he deserved though when he threw a shutout against the Rays on Saturday--his first win of the year.

12. (LW: 5) Tampa Bay Rays (25-18, 1st AL East)--WS: 0.958
This Week: 3-3, 4.29 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 51.3 GS, 3.50 K/BB, 7.16 K/9
Season (274.2 IP): 19-15, 3.57 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 54.2 GS, 2.35 K/BB, 6.39 K/9
The Rays more than doubled their ERA this week. Don’t look much further than David Price, though. The ace went 16 2/3 innings, allowed just two earned on three hits and struck out 17 with no walks last week in two victories. He then followed that up with a five-inning, five-earned no decision against their rival Yankees. Not what you’re looking for in an ace against such a big opponent.

11. (LW: 17) Texas Rangers (23-20, 1st AL West)--WS: 0.955
This Week: 2-0, 2.23 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 61.0 GS, 2.07 K/BB, 6.47 K/9
Season (267.1 IP): 18-11, 3.64 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 53.6 GS, 2.11 K/BB, 6.60 K/9
The Rangers retook first place in the American League West this week, helped out by a complete-game shutout of the White Sox by Colby Lewis on Monday. The WHIP was the second-lowest of any week this season for the club from Arlington, and that 61.0 gamescore average would be best in the league in a few weeks--just not this one.

10. (LW: 10) Cleveland Indians (26-14, 1st AL Central)--WS: 0.948
This Week: 2-2, 3.58 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 54.4 GS, 2.20 K/BB, 6.06 K/9
Season (225.1 IP): 15-8, 3.42 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 53.7 GS, 2.33 K/BB, 5.96 K/9
Thanks to a bad week by the Phillies and a solid week from the Cleveland staff, the Indians once again have the best record in baseball. Justin Masterson had the best start of the week, going eight strong in Chicago while letting up just one run--still, he took the loss (his second of the week).

9. (LW: 7) St. Louis Cardinals (25-19, 2nd NL Central)--WS: 0.944
This Week: 3-2, 2.98 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 54.7 GS, 1.77 K/BB, 4.28 K/9
Season (278.2 IP): 19-8, 3.49 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 52.8 GS, 2.12 K/BB, 5.75 K/9
Another strong week for the Cardinals continues to pull them up the rankings, though they dropped a game in the standings this week to the Reds. The Cards got six or more innings from every starter this week (in six games), and only Chris Carpenter's nine hits and seven runs in 6.1 innings spoiled a really great week in St. Louis.

8. (LW: 4) Los Angeles Angels (22-22, 3rd AL West)--WS: 0.937
This Week: 0-3, 5.25 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 46.2 GS, 3.14 K/BB, 5.50 K/9
Season (278.0 IP): 15-13, 3.40 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 55.1 GS, 2.68 K/BB, 6.86 K/9
After that 6-0 start with a 0.99 ERA, Jered Weaver is 0-4 with a 5.25 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP in his last four starts, including two losses this week. In a division with such great pitching, you can't expect to have only two quality starts in a week and win a bunch of games.

7. (LW: 6) San Francisco Giants (23-19, 1st NL West)--WS: 0.916
This Week: 2-3, 3.18 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 53.8 GS, 2.69 K/BB, 7.94 K/9
Season (247.0 IP): 12-16, 3.56 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 54.8 GS, 2.33 K/BB, 8.58 K/9
Every Giants starter except one (Tim Lincecum) made it through six or more innings this week, as they pitched to a 3.18 ERA and 2.69 K/BB ratio. If a two-time Cy Young Award winner is the weak link your rotation, you know you're doing pretty well.

6. (LW: 8) Los Angeles Dodgers (20-24, t-3rd NL West)--WS: 0.889
This Week: 2-3, 2.27 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 62.3 GS, 2.92 K/BB, 8.62 K/9
Season (275.1 IP): 16-18, 3.53 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 54.6 GS, 2.69 K/BB, 7.49 K/9
Strikeout-wise, this was the best week of the season--possible due to Clayton Kershaw throwing 11 Ks in just seven innings against the Diamondbacks last Thursday. Chad Billingsley and Hiroki Kuroda had high-quality starts as well, though Billingsley took the loss in 8 innings of one-run ball on Friday.

5. (LW: 12) Detroit Tigers (22-20, 2nd AL Central)--WS: 0.886
This Week: 2-0, 0.30 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, 71.5 GS, 3.00 K/BB, 4.50 K/9
Season (267.2 IP): 17-12, 3.40 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 54.9 GS, 2.24 K/BB, 6.49 K/9
To start off, I will say that the Tigers had only four games this week--however, Verlander only pitched once. The numbers, however, are fantastic--only one earned run (and two total) in 30 innings, plus just five walks and 16 strikeouts. Max Scherzer's seven inning, one-unearned-run, 60-gamescore ND against the Blue Jays was the worst start of the week.

4. (LW: 9) Seattle Mariners (18-24, 4th AL West)--WS: 0.856
This Week: 2-1, 0.92 ERA, 0.72 WHIP, 75.0 GS, 5.00 K/BB, 8.08 K/9
Season (267.1 IP): 15-16, 3.33 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 55.2 GS, 2.92 K/BB, 7.47 K/9
The Mariners are the third team this week with a stellar group of games, including three pitchers who went seven or more shutout innings: Jason Vargas threw a nine-inning shutout at Baltimore that unfortunately went into extra innings, though he did get a win a few days later when he went seven scoreless against the Angels yesterday.

3. (LW: 3) Oakland Athletics (22-21, 2nd AL West)--WS: 0.832
This Week: 2-2, 2.79 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 58.3 GS, 3.00 K/BB, 6.43 K/9
Season (282.2 IP): 17-12, 2.64 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 57.2 GS, 2.67 K/BB, 6.72 K/9
The A's held serve this week, both in their division and the Rotation Rankings. Yet, despite their overall good numbers, they've lacked any truly dominant starts over the last month, with no shutouts--yet, a 2.87 ERA and 1.23 WHIP over the last three weeks is still something any team in the majors would take.

2. (LW: 2) Atlanta Braves (25-20, 3rd NL East)--WS: 0.827
This Week: 2-0, 3.57 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 55.0 GS, 2.38 K/BB, 6.92 K/9
Season (274.1 IP): 17-12, 3.02 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 56.7 GS, 2.92 K/BB, 6.99 K/9
The main problem for the Braves this week was actually a lack of innings--in seven starts, the staff averaged under six innings per start, though throwing an average of 94 pitchers per start. The Braves are trying to make a move on the Marlins and Phillies, but it's going to take something more than "fairly solid" to really make up ground.

1. (LW: 1) Philadelphia Phillies (26-16, 1st NL East)--WS: 0.809
This Week: 1-3, 3.29 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 55.2 GS, 2.83 K/BB, 7.98 K/9
Season (273.0 IP): 19-12, 3.13 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 58.5 GS, 4.54 K/BB, 8.84 K/9
If Roy Halladay isn’t screaming at every non-pitcher I’m pretty sure most of Philly will do it for him. Once again the starters did their jobs—averaging 6 1/3 innings, a 3.29 ERA, and 5.67 strikeouts with a 1.33 WHIP—and once again the offense never showed up at the plate. When five starters allow three earned or less and two of them go eight innings and they come away with a combined 1-3 record with two no decisions there’s something wrong. They can’t wait for Utley.

Previous Rankings: Week 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

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